SEOs React to July Core Update How Google’s Latest Update Has Affected Sites So Far

author image Written by: Wade Morris           Categories - In The News, SEO

SEOs weren’t sure what to expect when Google launched a core update last week. Updates like this tend to take a few days to show an impact on websites, and they usually take a full week or two to finish rolling out.

The core update was launched on July 1 – and four days later, SEOs are starting to see the bigger picture. Read below to learn more.

What is the July Core Update?

Google tends to announce ‘updates’ to its inner framework quite frequently. One of these updates is the ‘core update’ – it stands out among other updates, as others target specific aspects of the platform. The core update, meanwhile, makes broad changes to its search algorithms that affect what metrics are used to rank pages on SERPs.

With that being said, SEOs and site owners should pay close attention to their sites’ performance following a core update.


Throughout 2021, SEOs have been anticipating a summer core update. Finally, one came in early June. Google announced that the June update would be the first part of a two-part core update, with the second coming in July.

Notably, they explained that the dual nature of the update might cause some changes in June to be reversed in July.

What SEOs are Seeing So Far

Right off the bat, SEO Barry Schwartz noticed that the effects of the update were being felt surprisingly fast:

SEO Glenn Gabe has created a Twitter thread in which he reports on results in search visibility following the update.

“I’m seeing a *boatload* of volatility across review sites, and many were impacted by the Product Reviews Update & the June core update,” he tweeted on July 4.

His latest updates note a mixed bag of results:

Message board users are sounding off as well. Schwartz compiled a few reactions from Black Hat World and WebmasterWorld users in a blog post.

Some WebmasterWorld users were startled by what they found following the July update:

“The weirdness continues,” one user wrote. “It seems like my traffic is up by about 30 to 50% from the lows of June. But, only before noon (EDT). Starting around 12pm traffic returns to same low levels.”

“This is insanity,” another wrote. “Today, I’ve had a 94% drop in my home page traffic. I checked and my home page is not coming up in a G site search at all, it just vanished. This is on a day where my ranking climbed.”

Even users who noticed positive changes were skeptical:

“I am seeing a continued very slow increase in both position and in GSC impressions,” one wrote. “At this pace will take the rest of the year to get back to where I was in March. I have no confidence that it couldn’t just vanish overnight.”

What the Tracking Tools are Showing

This is what tracking software shows as of 10:00 a.m. on July 5.


Tracking tool data from SEM Rush


Ranking data from Rank Ranger

As the update’s effects continue to grow more visible, site owners should pay careful attention to these tools as well as their sites’ performance.

Wade Morris

Wade brings an energetic approach to writing – he is always on the hunt for stories and angles that matter. With years of experience in journalism and marketing environments, Wade has written about everything from politics to education. Now, he writes about SEO and digital marketing trends.

Google To Target Sites Creating SEO Content?


Update from the future: Two weeks after it started rolling out, the Helpful Content Update is still not showing big ranking changes. Danny Sullivan said the update might get stronger with the next core update. Read more about that here.

Google is releasing a new, site-wide ranking signal that will target content created for search engines, instead of users. Glenn Gabe shared about this on Twitter, and Barry Schwartz reported on this on Search Engine Land.

Turns out a new algorithm change is about to happen, and it might just be the biggest one in the last ten years. Called the “helpful content update”, the ranking algorithm change is supposed to target websites that have a high amount of not-good-enough content, meaning that the content had one purpose in mind: getting that rank. What it should have done instead was be written for the user, not Google.

So, if you might have content that could be labelled as unhelpful or unsatisfying, you better act fast!

What Does “Site Wide” Mean?

Exactly that – it will impact content on your whole website, not just a page or two, unlike many other Google algorithms updates that are page-based.  Google will evaluate your website as a whole and the impact will be just as significant. The sooner you remove the unhelpful content, the better.

Why Is Google Doing This?

Because it wants to help searchers find high-quality content, Google told Barry. The search engine simply wants to reward useful content written for people, not bots and crawlers.

This absolutely makes sense, considering the number of complaints you can hear from users. It must have happened to you too; you were searching for an answer and you keep ending up on highly ranked articles that have no value to you as a reader. You end up opening a bunch of links and improving their traffic, meanwhile getting no answer to your query whatsoever.

So, it sounds fair that Google’s doing this. There’s too much content out there that’s just designed to rank well, instead of actually being helpful to the customer.

The update is supposed to be released next week, and it will take about two weeks for it to fully roll out.

According to Search Engine Land, Google said the content type that will be impacted the most will be online educational materials, arts and entertainment, shopping and tech-related content.

Also, the search engine shared with Glenn Gabe that ANY content on your site that was created to serve the search engine before the reader is less likely to have good results in Search. So even if you do have high-quality content, the bad one can and probably will bring your whole site’s rank down.  Google says you should remove the unhelpful content ASAP.

Google’s Advice On Building People-first Content

Google shared a list of questions to ask yourself when creating content. To create people-first content, you should focus on creating satisfying, actually helpful content while also utilizing best SEO practices. Here are the questions to ask yourself when creating content:

  • Do you have an existing or intended audience that would find the content useful?
  • Does your content demonstrate first-hand expertise and a depth of knowledge?
  • Does your site have a primary purpose or focus?
  • After reading your content, will a human leave feeling they’ve learned enough about a topic to help achieve their goal?
  • Will someone reading your content leave feeling like they’ve had a satisfying experience?
  • Are you keeping in mind our guidance for core updates and for product reviews?

If you answered yes to these questions, chances are pretty high you’re all good. If not, it’s definitely time for a change.

Read More: Google Helpful Content Update Still Rolling Out, Kind of Slow though

Update from the future: The Google Helpful Content Updatefinsihed rolling out on September 9th! Even though not a lot of people reported seeing major fluctuations, the update is still valuable and very important. Read more about it here and find out what to do if you were hit!

Read More: Word Count Doesn’t Mean Your Content Is Unhelpful
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Small Google Algorithm Update Rolled Our October 26


Chatter within the SEO community might be limited, but if the tracking tools are any indication, it appears that a small Google algorithm update rolled out around October 26th. 

Search Engine Round Table is reporting that most tracking tools showed a great amount of volatility on or around October 26th, essentially confirming that some kind of update did take place.

And while chatter in the forums has been minimal, there were some complaints of ranking shifts in Google Search made over on WebmasterWorld.

Here are some of the top comments:

“We are having one of the most volatile months in terms of (unannounced) updates and serp fluctuations but one of the least active monthly threads.”

“For the past few days, new posts are not getting indexed, GSC is showing Discovered, but not indexed. sad It’s a 5-year-old website with 1M impressions daily(100K organic traffic). Unique content, +1K words, but still…not indexed. SAD!”

“No, high authority websites were never downranked in my niche until very recently, hence the major shuffle remark.”

Here’s what some of the tracking tools are showing:


Semrush tracking tool

Cognitive SEO:

Cognitive SEO tracking tool


SERP Metrics 

Nothing too crazy going on, but it’s clear that some kind of small update rolled out this week.

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